Open Culture Makes You Say, “Holy Cow This is So Cool”

Yes­ter­day, Jon Gor­don (the host of Future Tense, a tech­nol­o­gy show aired by Amer­i­can Pub­lic Media) dis­cussed the major tech inno­va­tions of the decade. At the end of the show (around the 49th minute), a caller asked: “What’s the neat­est site, in terms of wow fac­tor, that makes you say holy cow this is so cool?” And, in answer, Jon respond­ed: Open Cul­ture. We’re not cut­ting edge. We’re under-read and under-appre­ci­at­ed. (All prob­a­bly true — any thoughts on how to fix that?). But we deliv­er the goods. Thanks very much Jon, and thanks for allow­ing me the rare self-pat on the back. You can lis­ten to the inter­view below or access it here. And, if you want, you can fol­low us on Twit­ter and Face­book and get updat­ed on all new bits of Open Cul­ture.

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The Best of Open Culture 2009

Could­n’t let you down. Could­n’t let the year end with­out giv­ing you a “best of” list. So here it goes. A pure­ly sub­jec­tive list. 25 items. Some edu­ca­tion­al; some a lit­tle more enter­tain­ing; some pop­u­lar, etc. I hope you enjoy, and you can always search through our com­plete archive here. Thanks all, and best wish­es in ’10.

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Quentin Tarantino Lists His Favorite Films Since 1992

Yup, we men­tioned Quentin Taran­ti­no last week, and we’re doing it again this week because Rosario has unearthed this nice clip. In six snap­py min­utes, Taran­ti­no (direc­tor of Pulp Fic­tion, Reser­voir Dog, Inglo­ri­ous Bas­ter­ds, etc) lists his favorites films made since 1992 — when he, him­self, start­ed mak­ing films. You’ll know some of these titles, but like­ly not oth­ers.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

My Best Friend’s Birth­day, Quentin Tarantino’s 1987 Debut Film

Film­mak­ing Advice from Quentin Taran­ti­no and Sam Rai­mi (NSFW)

Quentin Taran­ti­no Gives Sneak Peek of Pulp Fic­tion to Jon Stew­art (1994)

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Free eBooks for Your PC, iPhone, Kindle & Beyond

Today, we’re rolling out a siz­able col­lec­tion of Free eBooks, most of them clas­sics, that fea­tures major works writ­ten by James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzger­ald, Jane Austen, Niet­zsche and oth­ers. (We have even thrown in a lit­tle Paulo Coel­ho.) You’ll find 100+ free ebooks in total, and you can down­load the texts to your com­put­er, smart phone (iPhone, Android, etc.) or Kin­dle, depend­ing on the for­mat you choose.  Our eBooks Primer overviews the dif­fer­ent down­load options, so please give it a quick read over. Below, we’ve post­ed a quick sam­ple from the new col­lec­tion (plus a link to the entire list of Free eBooks). Feel free to offer feed­back and share the list with friends. Down the road, you can always find this col­lec­tion in the top nav­i­ga­tion bar. Just looks for eBooks.

For more ebooks, please vis­it Free eBooks: Great Books on Your PC, iPhone, Kin­dle & Beyond

Note: Don’t for­get to check in on Seth Har­wood’s big Kin­dle exper­i­ment. What hap­pens when you sell your book for 99 cents on the Kin­dle? Find out as the exper­i­ment unfolds. Sto­ry here.

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Disney Kindle Commando Sunday is Here!

kindledisneyToday’s free sto­ry: When They Were Call­ing You in for Din­ner (lis­ten here) or read it in the Charles Riv­er Review [To down­load the sto­ry and lis­ten on your MP3 play­er, just right-click and “save file as…”]

Dear OC read­ers,

About a week ago, I post­ed here about my Pub­lish­ing Exper­i­ment Take 1. I spoke of the need for authors (Yes, Authors!) to make exper­i­ments in new media and pub­lish­ing. Well, now’s the time to put my fic­tion where my mouth is. Today I’m launch­ing my col­lec­tion of short sto­ries, A Long Way from Dis­ney, on Ama­zon’s Kin­dle plat­form at the price of $.99.

Direct link to buy A Long Way from Dis­ney on Ama­zon.

Please vis­it for more info. You can buy the book if you have 1) A Kin­dle 2) an iPhone/iPod Touch or 3) Any PC com­put­er!

Easy! See you soon with more free sto­ries and results from this exper­i­ment.

PS: If you’d like to hear more free sto­ries like this, you can check out new posts today at and You can also get the sto­ries direct­ly from iTunes.

Seth Har­wood pod­casts his ideas on the pub­lish­ing indus­try and his fic­tion for free at He will be teach­ing an online course (The Essen­tial Art: Mak­ing Movies in Your Reader’s Mind) with Stan­ford Con­tin­u­ing Stud­ies start­ing in Jan­u­ary. His first nov­el, JACK WAKES UP, is in stores now.

Twenty-Five Essential Films of the 2000s

It’s that time of the year. Or rather that time of the decade. It’s time for “best of” lists — good ones, often banal ones, and some­times bad ones. Here’s one good list that might serve you well next year. Twen­ty-Five Essen­tial Films of the 2000s fea­tures some films that you’ve undoubt­ed­ly seen (The Lord of the Rings, Munich, There Will Be Blood) , but prob­a­bly a good num­ber that you haven’t (Three Times, Fat Girl, The Blind Swords­man: Zato­ichi). If you’re look­ing to replen­ish your Net­flix queue in 2010, it’s not a bad place to begin …

Early David Lynch Short Films

One thing is for sure. David Lynch has nev­er been con­ven­tion­al. Not now, and not dur­ing his ear­ly years. While putting togeth­er our col­lec­tion of Free Movies Online, we unearthed sev­er­al short films from the 1960s, when Lynch was get­ting his start. His very first film, Six Men Get­ting Sick (Six Times), appears above. Links to the oth­ers can be found below. A DVD con­tain­ing these and oth­er ear­ly Lynch films can be bought on Ama­zon here.

You can find these and oth­er great films in our col­lec­tion of Free Movies Online. It now fea­tures more than 130 movies by Hitch­cock, Kuro­sawa, Capra, Cop­po­la, Scors­ese, Taran­ti­no and more.

2009: The Year in Pictures

Some very pow­er­ful images in this New York Times fea­ture. But, tak­en togeth­er, they don’t say much good for 2009. Bring on the New Year…

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.